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The Godforgottens: Never Forgotten, Always Remembered

Mark Corroto By

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A Scandinavian supergroup of sorts, The Godforgottens met for this recording session in 2006 and pianist Sten Sandell happened to spot a Hammond B3 organ in the corner. Having never played one before, he instantly shaped the direction and feel of this performance out of this spontaneous decision to have a go at it. The three musicians joining Sandell—trumpeter Magnus Broo, bassist Johan Berthling and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love—have all collaborated on various projects in the past. This combination might be the first, hopefully, of many for The Godforgottens.

The three lengthy tracks—between ten and twenty minutes—crystallize from the B3, but not as the work of an American jazz/blues organ band. The sound might best be described as the imaginary meeting of Sun Ra and Miles Davis, circa 1974. The opening "Always Forgotten," begins with a placid organ wash, providing an equable current of energy under the unwrinkled tone of Broo's trumpet. With the entrance of Berthling's bowed bass and Nilssen-Love's percussion wash, The Godforgottens create a soundscape in which some very intimate improvisations can be built.

The band adds tension and release within each piece as the river of sound continues on with a seemingly endless number of possibilities. Even when Sandell switches to piano mid-song, the energy sustains itself by way of Nilssen-Love and Berthling's inexhaustible pace. By "Never Remembered," the quartet allows the threads to unravel, opening the music up and jostling the time signature. Sandell accomplishes this by sitting out much of the time; only entering to push players in varying directions. The duo of Berthling and Nilssen-Love heard here expands the imagination, as they seem to create new sounds from their respective instruments.

The nearly twenty-minute "Remembered Forgotten" ends the disc with a trumpet/drum launch. The pair sparks a pulse picked up by piano and bass before the sound spins into free-form musings. When the organ reenters (think of dark clouds overhead), the vibe turns heavy and Broo breaks out his upper register playing to push up the sky. By the end, the exhausted players return to the opening wash of the B3 sound to bring the music full circle.


Track Listing: Always Forgotten; Never Remembered; Remembered Forgotten.

Personnel: Magnus Broo: trumpet; Sten Sandell: Hammond B3 organ, piano, vocal; Johan Berthling: double-bass; Paal Nilssen-Love: drums, percussion.

Title: Never Forgotten, Always Remembered | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records

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